Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Ten Things I Would Abolish

1.  The IRS.  Frankly, it ought to be a one-page form, and everyone who makes any money in the top 90-percent of society ought to be paying something....just a straight percentage.

2.  NCAA Bowl Committee.  Look, it's all political and you could just appoint six barbers from Houston to be the real selection committee.

3.  The Senate.  Frankly, they've developed into mostly entertainment creations, and can't really deliver on anything.

4.  The FCC.  Maybe in the 1930s to the 1960s.....they made sense.  Today, it's just a political machine.

5.  The 9th Court on the West Coast.  I'd like to split the court up into three....giving Alaska and Hawaii their own court.

6.  CNN.  Before 2017, they were marginally able to do news themes....today?  It's the anti-Trump network. 

7.  NATO.  When the Cold War ended in 1990.....someone should have written up a declaration that NATO would dissolve within ten to fifteen years.  Today?  It's just a waste of money.

8.  NCAA Basketball.  Let's just make up a junior league for the NBA, and pay the players some salary. 

9.  Facebook.  If they were open and honest, I'd probably be pro-Facebook.

10.  The Conner Show (replacing Roseanne).  It's just a waste of time, and all it'll deliver is some fake laughs to the smaller crowd that remains. 

ICE?  Well....you could abolish them....but the laws are still on the books....who would enforce them? Notice how they didn't say they'd abolish the laws? 

Dear Mr Dershowitz

My brother referenced a piece written over about Alan Dershowitz (the famed lefty-lawyer) who was now in some minor ways defending Trump, and found himself 'shunned' over in Martha's Vineyard by the anti-Trump crowd which gathers there each summer to heal themselves, find relief from the heat, and chat over the good years of President Obama.  Dershowitz says it's impossible for him to find any connectivity or hosts to greet him in the Vineyard area.

So I sat and pondered upon it.  Naturally, I came to the Bama conclusion:

Dear Mr Dershowitz:

Normally, we folks in Alabama don't go around and inviting celebrities, stars, or VIPs down to our neck of the woods, for varying reasons (mostly because we think they'd drink up most of the whiskey or take off with our damsels).

But in your case, we'd like to extend a welcome.

The truth is, we kinda admire guys who do stuff like what you did, and stepped way out on the 'plank'.  It takes a bit of courage, and crazy-style to go and defend President Trump like you did.

We want to say up front....we just aren't like those Martha's Vineyard crowd folks.  We kinda bask in the summer heat, and tend to socialize on the porch.  We do sip a good bit of ice tea and lemonade, and if you ask for the stout stuff....folks will quietly bring it out and freshen your drink a bit (extra is not a problem with us, but just don't say nothing about this to the Baptists).

For excitement in the summer, we tend to have five basic experiences: (1) fishing, (2) Baptist revivals, (3) fence painting, (4) NASCAR racing, and (5) softball.  I realize these might not fit into your style, but we also tend to get into wild stories on the porch about so-and-so parson who got arrested, or some gossip over the neighbor blowing up his garage by accident, or laying out how such-and-such governor had some mistress that he was paying $400,000 a year on salary.  These stories are usually worth sitting on the porch, and hearing in detail.

Occasionally, you might be in a highly cultured group, which chats about the 31 chapters of Proverbs from the Old Testament, or a wild personalized interpretation version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, or some personalized WW II story from Uncle Lonny which seems to be half-true-half-false but we never care about the changing landscape or that he fought both the Germans and Japanese at the same time.

I won't go and say we got it better than those folks in Martha's Vineyard....but we don't hold a grudge against a guy like you.  And we kinda think that you deserve better treatment.

So, if you are tired of the Vineyard fake nature.....come on down to Alabama, and give us a chance.  We're save you a rocker on the porch, and keep up a tub of crushed ice for your drinks.

2018: Grapes of Wrath

Since early 2017, I've sat and watched this 'opera' unfold with the Trump business, and the anti-Trump take-down camp.

The surprising element for me is that in the midst of this whole dramatic opera, few sit and take note that three-million Americans are hired and working today, than as on 1 January 2017.  Folks are sitting around and kinda noting that cousin so-and-so  who'd been laid off in 2015....is actually working today, and almost ready to buy a new car.  Or that Joe's sister who has a worthless degree in women's studies....got hired as a tourism expert for the city of Nashville.  Or that Uncle Buddy got hired as a truck-driver last week....at the youthful age of 64.

As you stand and observe this landscape, and people in some transit of life.....I am reminded of the great classic of all time....Grapes of Wrath (by John Steinbeck).

In the mid-1930s....Steinbeck was observing Americana and the negative feeling of people.  The depression was having an affect on our lives, and triggering people to take extreme measures.  When published in 1939....it quickly moved up into the circles of awards.

For those who don't remember, it was about the Joads of Oklahoma, and how terribles woes had come to them, and they just saw terrible suffering with every twist and turn.  They'd gone through the bankruptcy business, and saw terrible drought conditions there on the farm.

So the Joads eventually gave up, and laid out a path to California, where they were going to seek jobs, opportunity, and hope for the future.

I won't go into great detail, but Tom (the chief character) reaches some stage where he has to go off on his own, and the family sits there....existing off of hope.

So, life today is basically the opposite of Grapes of Wrath.  Folks have sat around for two to three decades....suffering and watching jobs disappear.  They watched the bankruptcy era come and go (2008).  They saw fake hope come, over and over. 

Then one day, this Trump-fellow comes around.  Something odd happens.

It's the entire reverse path of the Joads of 'California'.  Suddenly now, there are jobs.  There's talk of opportunity.  There's some hiring for folks with no real skills.  There's talk of companies expanding.  Everywhere the Joads turn now....inspiration and a hope for the future.  In a way, we need a Steinbeck to stand up and write a modern-day Grapes of Wrath, but it ought to be told the exact opposite way.  Instead of Tom (the chief character) reaching some stage where he has to to go off on his own....he's instead announcing his return, and planting himself to a job with the local industry, and the family sitting there in disbelief that this Trump-hope thing....just ain't as fake as they thought.

The Thing About this Trump Tariff on German Luxury Cars

Sit and pause over the discussion....which various business journalists are trying to hype but fail to realize.

First, he's not banning (a word often used to confuse people). I've seen three articles in the past hour, which used the word ban.  It's a totally false narrative.

Second, the average working-class American doesn't care for luxury German imports anyway.  In fact, you can ask a hundred Americans if they've ever sat in a BMW, Audi or Mercedes....and the answer is 80-percent saying 'no', they haven't.  If you did military time and was stationed in Germany....it's a fairly high chance you did sit in a older model BMW or Mercedes. 

Third, who can typically afford a German luxury-class import (before all this chatter started up)?  The basic model of the Audi TT runs at 43,000 dollars, with the stuff on it....near 65,000 dollars.  That was before the tariff talk. 

Fourth, I come to the meat and potato discussion....the same guy who could afford the BMW at $70,000 last year....will likely be able to afford the tariff situation at $87,000.  Oh, I admit....he'll grumble.  But if he had $70,000 to throw toward this....he'll accept this.  He might delay the purchase a year....waiting on the collapse of the tariff or some change, and I think this is the Trump 'card' being played.

If Trump prevents 50-percent of the normal sales for the premium German luxury cars....the Germans can't find another market to make up for this, and it'll trigger a slow-down at the factories (my guess, by November). 

By early 2019, I think the Germans will be reviewing options, and trying to fix the problem.  So there are three ways:

1.  Build factories in the US to manufacture the German luxury cars (I think BMW would quickly wise-up to this idea).

2.  Convince the EU to resolve this mess. 

3.  Hope on a defeat for Trump in November 2020 (a long way away).

Any idiot journalist who think that the bulk of American voters cares about this, or that they are big-buyers of German luxury cars....needs to drive around the nation and talk to regular people.  For a top-ten topic.....it doesn't even rate in the top 1,000 topics for most people.